By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

LAKE WILSON -- The fish weren't biting much, but the temptation to go outdoors was simply too much to resist.

So John Palmer, Hoisington, loaded up his fishing poles and nightcrawlers and headed north to Lake Wilson.

"Caught a few white bass," he said after spending a couple hours on the bank of a relatively shallow piece of the lake in Russell County.

Palmer was among the few at the lake Tuesday, a day with high winds in the forecast -- not a pretty picture for anglers at the lake. There was, however, at least one hardy soul willing to venture out on the water despite the forecast of strong winds, but warm temperatures.

Fishing at Wilson, other than for stripers, has been relatively slow, but the forecast is for activity to start picking up.

Stripers are fair to good at Wilson, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks fishing report. Black and white bass fishing is slow, but expected to start picking up soon.

Fishing elsewhere in northwest Kansas is relatively slow, but should start improving as temperatures warm.

Palmer is a relatively frequent visitor to Lake Wilson, a 45 minute drive from his house.

"I usually fish the end," he said of the upper end of the lake. "It's closer to home."

That's critical these days, what with gasoline prices at their current levels.

"I average once or twice a month," he said of his trips to the lake to fish, using two baitcasters to toss out the nightcrawlers weighted down by a hefty sinker. "I used to come up more than that. Gas got so high."

When gas prices were cheaper, he'd make the trip several times a month.

Palmer voiced concern about the upper end of the lake, citing a drop in cover for fish -- brought on when water levels were high in 1993.

"The water was so high it killed the trees and the banks fell in," he said. "It used to be a little better fishing. Bass used to hang around up here when they had shade."

In 2008, the water levels fell.

"Then it got so low, it drained out up here," he said.

Palmer was undaunted by the strong wind and tough fishing conditions.

"It's going to have to do something different if it's going to get to 80 degrees, he said, hunkering down on the bank, his sweatshirt and Carhartt jacket warding off the chill in the air.